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ENG582: Science Fiction and Fantasy

Whether it is Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or H.G.

Whether it is Tolkien's Lord of the Rings or H.G. Wells's The War of the Worlds, science fiction and fantasy can not only delight our imagination but also help us understand our real, present world more thoroughly. Students in this course will study a wide array of science fiction and fantasy, including looking at how fantasy provides commentary on race, gender and class through works such as Octavia Butler's Fledgling or Ursula K. LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness as well as considering science fiction's power to comment on technological and social quandaries, such as Frank Herbert's prescient consideration of global warming in Dune or Philip K. Dick's exploration of artificial intelligence and identity in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The course will examine some of the early efforts in the field, from writers such as Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov, as well as those on the cutting edge of fantasy and science fiction today, like China Meiville and Neal Stephenson. Students will write critical reflections, examining the intersection of these imagined worlds with real life as well as trying to craft some fantasy or science fiction of their own.